A pair of love-struck great-grandparents are getting ready to finally tie the knot having found each other again at a bus station – 60 years after their first date.
Eighty-one-year-old Jean Stuttard and her younger man Brian Livesey, 79, first met six decades ago while working in a Rolls Royce factory.
The couple, who were both recently widowed, were reunited by chance when Brian spotted his long-lost sweetheart through a crowd waiting at a bus station in August 2016.
Brian, a former engineering manager, wasted no time in speaking to his old sweetheart and said he had recognised her by her eyes – something that he had always remembered.
Jean, who used to make wedding dresses in her home town of Nelson, Lancs., said: “I was getting on the bus at Nelson bus station when Brian asked ‘is that Jean Slater?’, which was my maiden name.
“I asked him how on earth he recognised me and he said by my eyes, which I thought was very sweet.
“We’d had maybe four dates back in 1957 but we both went on to have long marriages.”
Remembering those first dates 60 years ago, Jean said Brian took her to a local cinema and out for dinner a few times, but the pair just drifted apart.
However, now that they have been reunited, Jean says they have both been given a new lease of life.
She said: “My husband of 44 years, Lister, died in 2014 and I was feeling a bit lonely so I gave Brian my number and we met up a few days later for a drink.
“We talked for more than four hours and we’ve been together ever since.
“I think we both knew straight away it was going to be more than friendship. We’ve spent every day together since we found each other again.”
Brian, from Nelson, Lancs., married his first wife, Ann Allen, on October 1 1960.
Ann passed away in November 2013 after 53 years of happy marriage, who admitted he never thought he would marry again.
He has three children from his marriage to Ann – Mark, 54, Simon, 51 and Collete, 45.
Jean, who was married twice, had five children from her first marriage which lasted five years – Peter Slater, 60, Danny Pickles, 54, Graeme Pickles, 56 and Rowan Pickles, 51.
Her fifth son, Terry Pickles, sadly passed away eight years ago aged 51.
Jean married her second husband, Lister Stuttard on New Years Day, 1972. She has a 51-year-old step daughter from this marriage named Jane Moore.
Between them, the couple have seven children, 22 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who are all delighted the pair have found love again.
Since finding each other, the happy couple have enjoyed three holidays to Blackpool and a week in Torquay.
The couple had already booked a holiday in Turkey with Jean’s son Peter, which they are now going to treat as their honeymoon.
Brian said: “I put my house up for sale and moved in with Jean this March. We thought it would just be easier because we’re not getting any younger and Jean lives in a bungalow.
“Then one day recently I just said to Jean all I want is to marry you.
“Thankfully she said yes. We had already booked the holiday for October so we will make that our honeymoon.”
Jean said they are looking forward to spending some more money on themselves when Brian’s house sells and they are already starting to think about other holidays once the wedding and honeymoon are out of the way.
Great-grandmother Jean added: “I’ve found my dress, it’s not bridal white, but it is very nice. I’ve also told Brian to buy a new suit.”
The big day, on Saturday, September 30th, will be held at Burnley Register Office where 60 guests will watch the happy ceremony.
A total of 80 people have been invited to the reception, which Jean explained will be much more of a party.
There will be no best man or bridesmaids this time around, but Brian’s friend of 69 years, Peter Nicholas, will be a witness alongside Jean’s son Peter.